Tips and FAQs

tips


How does it work?

Whether you need mixing, mastering or both, go to the Order/Upload page, fill out the online form, and upload your material. Simple as that!

You will have the opportunity to select the 10-day service option, and to write some notes about what you want from the work. For example, if you want a specific effect, or you want it to sound rocky or jazzy, you can write this into the form.

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Do I really need a Google account?
Not necessarily. You will need a Google account to upload the easy way via the online form (all Android and Gmail users have one) but if you’d rather get files to us some other way, please just let us know; we can probably accommodate it. You have the opportunity to register for a Google account while completing the upload form. Be aware that using the upload system will require some free space on your Google Drive storage until the transfer is complete.

How do I pay?
Once we receive the files, we will send you a message via our partners at FreeAgent inviting you to set up a GoCardless Direct Debit. Simply click on the link and fill in your details. We will automatically take payment for the services you have selected and send you an invoice via email.

You only have to register your bank details once. Next time, simply tick the box in the upload form that says, “Yes, I am a returning customer,” and your payment will be taken care of hassle-free.

Other payment methods are available (subject to a 2.5% service charge) but the GoCardless payment method is the easiest and cheapest method. Contact us for details.

Your upload form only accepts 1 file, but I have 28 stems to send you!
We encourage you to “zip” up your files using a standard compression tool to make the whole upload process easier, and the file transfer less prone to errors. The easiest way to do this is to put all the files you want to send us in the same folder, say “Summertime Stems”. On a PC, right click on the folder and select Send to>Compressed (zipped) folder. On a Mac, right click or control click and select Compress Items.

Does the audio have to be in a specific format?
Yes. Get in touch if you need any assistance with this.  We want to get it right for you so we’re happy to help.

Audio files should be provided in AT LEAST 44.1k, 24bit WAV format.
MP3s will not be accepted.

Please also ensure the following to avoid any delays:
A single audio file per audio track – this means every track needs to be bounced or merged before it reaches us.
All audio files need to have the same start point, so when we bring them into our software, they line up correctly.
Provide a BPM for each song. You will have the chance to input this on the upload form.
Get the naming of the files right. This should include instrument, take (if double-tracked), musician (if more than one on the same instrument) microphone used, anything else. So your file name should look something like this:
Kick Out MD421.wav
Or
Rhythm Guitar 1 Malcolm SM57 (Marshall Amp).wav
Or
Acoustic Guitar 1 DI.wav

When will I receive the finished product?
If you have selected the 10-day service option, your files will be sent to you within 10 days of us receiving your audio files, or within 36 hours of us receiving payment, whichever is later.

Otherwise, we endeavour to have your tracks ready in 3-4 weeks, but no longer than 6 weeks.

How will I receive my files?
However you like. We like using SoundCloud private download links because you can review the audio online before downloading it and make comments on the timeline, like “guitar louder on this bit!” However, we can send you a download link or an email, or even post you a CD-R if that’s best for you. Just let us know.

Will I get a say in how it sounds? What about mix adjustments?
Before we start mixing your track, we read carefully what you have said in your online form to check we fully understand what your criteria are. So be as specific about your requirements as you like. Or if you’d rather leave it up to us, that’s fine too. A reference to commercially available recordings will give us a handy steer. In the end, we want you to be happy.

After you have received your mixed and/or mastered track, let us know if there are any adjustments you want (eg, synth solo after second chorus is too quiet), and we will send you another version free of charge with all your adjustments seen to. Any further adjustments beyond that will be chargeable on an hourly rate (enquire for details).

Each subsequent version will be delivered as soon as possible. If you selected the 10-day service option, the free adjustments will be delivered within 10 days of receiving instructions and paid versions within 10 days of payment. If you didn’t select the 10-day service option, we will try to get adjustments to you within about two weeks.

Whatever I send, you’ll make it sound pro, right?
The old saying, “you can’t polish a turd,” is as true for audio as anything else. MAKE SURE you do everything you can to record it properly with the best equipment you can get hold of (beg, borrow or steal if you have to!). Yes, we can add punch, bring out detail, adjust the tone etc, but if it sounded wrong when you recorded it, no amount of digital wizardry will fix it.

We can make the odd correction for tuning or timing, but if it requires a more surgical approach, this would be charged at our standard hourly rate. In this circumstance, we would contact you to ask (tactfully) how you want us to proceed: provide a tidy mix of what you have provided us, or go ahead and tidy up the timing or tuning issues, and charge for the time. Depending on the seriousness of the timing or tuning issues, this could be £20-£50.

What’s the minimum number of tracks you need on drums?
We’ll work with whatever you give us, but we’d rather have too many tracks than not enough. We can always mute it if it’s not needed. As a rough guide, this would normally be a good, basic setup for drums:
Kick
Snare top
Snare bottom
Hi hats
1 track each for toms
Overhead L
Overhead R
Ride Cymbal
Room Mic L
Room Mic R

You might also decide to give us two kick drum tracks (in and out), two tracks per tom (top and bottom), a track for sundries (wood block, cow bell etc.) and two pairs of room mics, one near and one far.

If you’re not sure, please let us know. We’re happy to provide a bit of recording advice to help you get it right.

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